Sunday, September 17, 2017

Thank the British if you live in freedom

[VIDEO] John Ruberry posted this video from Prager U. with regards to the British Empire expanding around the world this idea of freedom throughout it's almost worldwide empire. Remember the United States of America was once part of the British Empire until the American Revolution - probably caused by "bening neglect".

Of course Ruberry brings to mind his Irish ancestors and British rule over Ireland that may cause questions to be asked over Britain's ideas of liberating these many lands. Better yet, their role in keep peace between warring tribes. Allowing people to maintain their cultures and customs although having a strong sense of right & wrong still might put their foot down on practices they may see as barbaric - such as what's noted in the video the live burning of widows.

I just know that there are going to be those who because the British conquered so much land on the globe for so many years that many will attack this video. Yeah when the British landed in the Americas they came into contact with the American Indian or native American and unfortunately there were some skimishes and even disease that began to lower their numbers. Same for the Aborigines of Australia or even the Maoris of New Zealand. Yeah we may even discuss the role of the British in the Atlantic slave trade although they ultimately resolved to end Slavery in their territories and end the slave trade.

The bad news today is the emphasis has become demonizing certain groups of people. Unfortunately we know so much about the oppression caused by Europeans and different ethnicities. The various nations of Europe have over the centuries been at war with each other and sometimes some for of oppression or genocide has occurred. These days we know about the Europeans and their brutal colonialism in the Americas, Africa, or Asia.

It was pointed out that for the most part former colonies of Britain often hadn't fallen into the trap of dictatorial governance. Unfortunately I'm not sure that's true, look at Nigeria, Zimbabwe, perhaps to a lesser extent South Africa - where the white minority chose to subjugate the non-white majority which probably a worse form of segregation that what we may know of the American south. British colonialism isn't perfect and more so than the end of British colonial rule.

Then again  see some parallels with for example Iraq and Afghanistan after removing their respective regimes during the course of the War on Terror we installed more liberal democracies in those nations. The results from what I've seen has been less than ideal in both countries and both are still dealing with radical Islamic fundamentalist movements in their country, especially Afghanistan since after 9/11/2001 we removed the ruling Taliban regime from power.

In both of those examples it was certainly foolhardy to even thing we should nation-build. With this in mind we could always look at the British example when we may make the ultimate decision to go toe-to-toe with a regime who proves uncooperative as far as their threat to the world.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Smear

I just had to address this National Review article with regards to "toxic masculinity" especially this excerpt:
If men are not told to be “gentlemen,” some will be emasculated, but more will become destructive men. If men are not trained by good men, they will be trained by bad men; if they have no good males to follow, they follow bad ones. The Left routinely speaks about a world run by women and why such a world would create better men. But the most male-free environment in America exists in black communities, where well over half of black children grow up without fathers. This hasn’t made black boys less violent; it’s made them far more prone to criminality than their non-black peers. Many of these boys follow teenage role models, many of whom have lacked fathers themselves, and lack the training to be a gentleman. They live in a world of risk that requires masculine defense but have no one to teach them to distinguish between defense and aggression.
Of course the gist of the article is namely about the idea of "toxic masculinity" in general and the general answer to it which includes emasculation. Perhaps there are a segment of parents that want to take away from boys the aspects of what makes them boys. That may include the energy which also entails aggression.

Now this I wanted to discuss with regards to Black fathers and Black boys. Why aren't there many Black fathers in Black communities? Are they all in prison? Are they avoiding the women they have babies with? Are the women who had the babies chasing the men away after giving birth? Are the men engaged in high risk activities that either result in them going to prison for an extended stretch of time or otherwise are in the grave?

I can buy the idea that the boys who are left behind are looking for in role models the wrong type of men. That is the type of men who only can cause real serious trouble that can lead to these high risk activities that could either place them in prison or death. And yes sometimes these role models are emasculated.

I suppose if you believe this article there is a war on men. Masculinity is under attack and there is an attempt to redefine this aspect of manhood. It doesn't matter if the subject are bad men it seems the subject of this so-called toxic masculinity are also gentlemen. Boys want to be men, but they need examples of good men. At an impressionable age they may not get that and perhaps we get some of the issues we have now!

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2001

This morning I was listening to Mancow and on occassion they will play audio from that very day. I was listening to Mancow on that day and while it didn't process in my mind what they were seeing live on TV in their radio studio I would see it live later. It gave me goosebumps as they played the audio again and again.

I have nothing really to add in discussing this. We're still fighting terrorism and not just Islamic fundamentalist terror. I believe men are good, but unfortunately there are a segment of men who are bad. We saw them in action for sure on 9/11.

Either way hit that Sept. 11 tag to see other posts that mark this infamous day. And for you enjoy and like this ig post from Alex Ross, who is a comic book artist. This painting and other paintings of superheroes are without a doubt realistic. I'm a fan even if for the moment he's not doing my favorite DC Comics characters such as Batman or Superman.

For today, I'm a fan of his work and wish I could buy a print of what you will see below!
A post shared by Alex Ross (@thealexrossart) on

Sunday, September 03, 2017

VIDEO: One simple solution to brutal Illinois tax hikes

[VIDEO] At the expense of being accused of copyright infringement I just had to upload this editorial by the General Manager of our local FOX affiliate Dennis Welsh. With that in mind what you see above isn't owned by me, merely uploaded - unlisted - to my YouTube account. It is for educational purposes and for the sake of history that must be preserved.

Here's the pension language in the Illinois constitution contained in section 5 of article XIII. What's been put in bold were emphasized in the video above.
SECTION 5. PENSION AND RETIREMENT RIGHTS

Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.

(Source: Illinois Constitution.)
In 2008, this state had the opportunity to vote in favor of a state constitutional convention and it could've address this pension language. Unfortunately voters in Illinois voted against a convention because many arguments against this involved pensions.

Now with an income tax hike, sales tax in Chicago, and even a potential property tax increase for Chicago schools are mostly for pensions. As one of the people in the video above states less money for the students, for roads, or for police most of that money is going for public employees' - yes I'm including teachers in that - retirement!

To this I say what a shame! We've gotten ourselves in this mess and it's hard to get out because these government employees want their generous pensions. Taxes are going up because we can't afford them and it seems they will continue to go up as long as they use Illinois' constitution framework to fight any attempt to reform this system. It needs reform for sure!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What's going on in America

I want to be honest and state that it wasn't easy for me to write this post. To start I will always state that the idea of "white supremacy" is always worth opposing as it's considered very abhorrent to the nation that we want. However, I consider how much of a dying idea it has been and isn't really worth what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Today my biggest concern isn't any resurgent white supremacist movement as it could be the groups whether we call them the "alt-left" or "antifa" who have pledged to oppose them. We're seeing extreme efforts to not trigger bad feelings in different groups for example ESPN pulled an announcer from a football game because of his name - an Asian man's name is similar to the name of a Confederate general in the Civil War. Even worse a mascot name of a California university resembled the name of a horse owned by this same Confederate general - OMG TRIGGERED.

Political correctness in this great nation is starting to become problematic and it's causing us to make some causations that aren't there. I may understand the protest of Confederate monumnets thanks to the popular idea that the Confederate States of America generally supports slavery. Changing names and holding against a man who in reality has no bone in the continuing observance of the Civil War is starting to go too far.

Another aspect of this is identity politics. Years ago Martin Luther King Jr made a nice speech about recognizing a person not for the color of his skin, but the content of his character. Unfortunately I'm seeing on social media posts about punching Nazis and even worse the person you punch may in fact not be a Nazi. Even worse still the people who pledge to fight racism instead think it's OK to castigate an entire race of people for crimes of centuries past.

With this in mind now I somewhat understand what set up Charlottesville. Unfortunately the white supremacists who attempted to rally in that Virginia town got their points made. And the "alt-left" and "antifa" movements are continuing their fight, what I have to figure out what is the end goal in using violent or disruptive tactics in a fight against racism.

Often when we see "antifa" in action - primarily through social media, FOX News, or even other alternative media - they're often wearing masks. They're fighting the good fight however they don't want to be seen. Another tactic they counter demonstrate, however, it's not because they disagree with an opposing point of view. On the contrary they find ways to demonize the other side.

To be honest I'm struggling to come up with a conclusion. So let me keep it simple demonizing an opposing viewpoint in a land with free speech is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately if this has been something that has been going on for years Charlottesville has become the results.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

My thoughts on #Charlottesville

Should've written this here, but I will copy what was written over at The Moleskine regarding Charlottesville, Virginia. With the video clip above this time, it's not the whole breadth of the situation as it has turned far more tragic! [VIDEO]

HAVING GOTTEN THE GIST OF THE TRAGIC situation in Charlottesville, Virginia it reminds me of how we should know people hold hateful and racist views of their fellow human beings. We should know and of course find ways to denounce them. They shouldn't be ignored and you should never fight them.

Once upon a time in America the Klu Klux Klan has some power in this country to suppress Black citizens in parts of this nation. Today anyone even remotely related to the Klan no longer have the legal power of old. Thus the Klan doesn't have much teeth other than the individuals who hold such abhorrent views of their fellow American citizens.

With this said the so-called "white nationalists" were only in this Virginia city to disrupt. This is their new power as I have started to believe these racist organization are largely irrelevant as a force. By engaging these groups violently you only incur the response of "see who hate us". Let's us prove we're the opposite of their ideology and of course oppose them, but realize hating the haters get us nowhere.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

It's time for "The Trump Effect"

[VIDEO] The Trump Effect : Deprogramming the American Mind is something I had put on the back burner since late last month posting it at "The Moleskine". Basically it's an hour of author/filmmaker Lawrence Jarvik (@LaurenceJarvik) talking about President Trump and how he's going to crack through the political correctness prevalent in this nation.

What I responded to most was the President's background. Trump is already independently wealthy, he comes from a construction business background, he also largely comes from a wealthy family and doesn't have to worry about where he's going to live because he's mostly lived in Trump properties. Jarvik sees these as positives in deprogramming the American mind. He was able to live his life individualistically without being restrained by having to please bosses.

Everything else, I had trouble grasping and it's possible that I need to be deprogrammed. Jarvik cites 9/11 as the start of this PC culture or at least it got far more intense, but as illustrated as you go through this vid political correctness has been around for years. Even worse it was probably found in other totalitarian regimes whether the Nazis or certainly in Communist regimes.

Another idea of note, Trump approaches issues and policies - not from an ideological approach - he approaches them from a realistic approach. That makes sense he is in real estate and you have to solve real problems of construction or maintenance so thus you realistically can solve the problem of structure or perhaps an hvac unit.

Perhaps in American politics the realistic approach is what is missing. With this in mind although I never voted for Trump last November, I can appreciate his unorthodox approach to the Presidency. Yeah he's certainly had plenty of rough bumps since taking office in January, however, some aspects of getting through the noise of the mainstream media (well "fake news") I certainly understand why he takes to twitter to send out his messages.

Great video, perhaps some of you will take something from this. BTW, Trump could be the inspiration for many in a variety of ways, perhaps many of us can start our own business empires and get wealthy, perhaps we can be more outspoken on some issues that we care about, perhaps we can seek out more of the truth on our own, or conversely discredit those who often tell lies. One thing we want to be careful about is that so far Trump can be Trump.

Trump can weather these attacks as far as his business dealings or even any allegations of sexual assault towards women. So far it doesn't matter, however, not all of us are made of kevlar or teflon. Bottom line if you do your own thing expect people to want to attack you because it's not what they would do!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Saw Spider Man Homecoming....twice

[VIDEOSpider Man Homecoming is a movie I enjoyed seeing twice. The iconic Marvel Comics superhero is essentially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tony Stark featuring heavily as something of a mentor to this young teenage meta-human. And yes for the most part comic book fans already know his origin.

When you think about it, this isn't an origin film. Basically the movie starts after Spider Man's cameo appearance in Capt. America: Civil War facing off against needless to say Capt. America and his allies. Then back to NYC where Peter Parker is juggling adolescence, superhero business, school, etc.

Even weirder Spider Man's suit is the coolest suit ever seen and near the end he had it taken away from him. Parker had to rely only on his meta-human abilities and identity essentially concealed by a homemade customer consisting of sweatpants and a hoodie. The suit is made by Tony Stark and has all types of cool bells and whistles which for a brief time was also taken away from him.

BTW, this movie's version of Aunt Mae, I'd be trying to gain favor from her also. The youngest and most prettiest incarnation of her ever. Although for most of her portrayals she had little clue of Parker's double-life. Time may tell if future movies go with this, but it looks like now she knows!

How this film was portrayed? Well you're reading the blog of a man who used to be a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I wanted to know martial arts like they did and wanted to be a hero. A kid likes to think about heroes and probably wishes they could be like Peter Parker with heart and the ability to beat bad guys.

I feel as if I gave away some plot points, but before that film leaves theaters near you go see it. Spider Man Homecoming essentially is the third superhero move of the summer. I was glad to see almost two months after a June release Wonder Woman is still going strong and having seen Guardians of the Galaxy which was also a good movie to see.

And I almost forgot about Logan which is a movie that rubbed me the wrong way. Main thing about that movie was that it ended on a depressing note and it was mostly a very dark feature. Although to be fair perhaps a fitting note to end Hugh Jackman's time as Logan/Wolverine.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Cook County Beverage Tax #tweetyoureciept

It seems here in Chicago our politicians have this great need to engage in some form of social engineering. I wish I had been paying attention to whatever debate took place at the county regarding this tax. Of course these things are never about encouraging people to change their behaviors it's about the revenue. It's about taking some of YOUR money!

Out of Cook County Chicago we have examples of a plastic bottle tax which is per bottle in the city, the idea is to discourage people from buying these plastic bottles that may or may not biodegrade. Just like these plastic grocery bags we'll talk about in a bit. Either way want a pack of bottle water however many there in too bad a tax per bottle. So far it appears the city has little interest in repealing that tax as far as I know. In stead my mother prefers to go outside of the city to buy a pack of bottle water.

Of course more recently is the bag tax. During the past year Chicago attempted to ban the simple grocery bags to discourage their use among city residents. Well that failed and around New Years a 7 cent tax was instituted on plastic and paper bags. The idea was to encourage people to bring their own bags to shop, although the reality is again for the city to further collect more revenue. One report has shown that the city actually has come short of their expected revenue forecasts. Irony one ordinance to discourage use of grocery bags was repealed and now a new ordinance to address this issue also hasn't lived up to expectiations.

And now the beverage tax and even our county board president who at first hides behind the idea that instituting this tax will promote public health admits this is about raising revenue:
"Raising revenue was never my first choice," Preckwinkle said in November. "This measure provides important revenue, not only to avoid damaging cuts for public health and public safety systems, but also to expand our community-based interventions in both arenas. It also puts us on a stable financial footing for the next three fiscal years, during which we will not have to approve any additional tax increases."

Cook County is depending on the tax revenue. It had been expecting the tax to bring in $67.5 million this year and $200.6 million in 2018.

The county lost about $20 million from not being able to collect the tax in July, said Frank Shuftan, a spokesman for Preckwinkle. It will have to make up that money in order to balance the budget, and that could mean layoffs. Shuftan said a small number of employees have already been laid off, but he couldn't provide an exact figure.
This article makes sure to note that this law was poorly written and it was made clear that no business people were at the table to help write this law and institute this tax. In fact a business group filed a lawsuit to block the tax back in June. There was an injunction that was recently lifted that allowed for the ultimate implementation of this tax which was originally supposed to start in July.

I was late to the party by the twitter account of the Tribune Editorial Board wanted citizens to post their reciepts to show the amount of the beverage tax. Hopefully to show some discontent and even though this was almost a day old by the time I learned of this, you can see my tweet below.

Also I see via the CBS Chicago link that there was at least one vote against this tax by Commissioner Boykin who's a Democrat. There are 17 members of the board of commissioners. I got to find out how many votes were in favor and who voted on it.

BTW, this is the only one that caught my interest there are other laws implemented by Chicago that may prove damaging to businesses, workers, and residents. I'd like to share my thoughts on them in the near future. And furthermore as much as these laws are well meaning my concern is that they could also result in the opposite effect.

BTW I forgot that the County is attempting to sue this anti-beverage tax business group for $17 million. The county wants the money they lost out on as the injunction prevented them from collecting on the taxes. My tweet upon hearing about this

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Charlie Gard

I'm going to ache for Charlie's parents. I don't yet have any children but it's shame what happened during the course of at least the past month of so. They wanted their baby who isn't yet a year old to have a chance at life, and unfortunately were thwarted by health and legal authorities in Britain and Europe.

The authorities didn't want them to attempt to sent their baby who is suffering from a rare genetic condition. This story even elicitied a tweet from the President indicating that he would like to help facilitate a visit for the parents and child to visit this nation so that they could seek further treatment for their boy.

Sadly we learned that it's too late. His life is over and he's not even one-full year! Unfortunately parents and doctors disagree over the appropriate course of action, however, in Great Britain doctors can seemingly overrule parents. Seeking an experimental treatment for this child in his condition they believed would cause the child more pain. So the doctors got backed up by the courts who and the course of action the doctors intended was to take this 11-month-old off of life support.

The parents of Charlie has found out after an examination that this experiment treatment isn't like to help him. Whatever damage from this genetic condition has been too far advance for this experiment treatment to do any good.

So, these death panels we hear about especially during the debate over Obamacare? Well we see one example if we look into created a socialized single-payer health care system in America. You as a parent want to help your child, but the resources to treat your child they may decide needs to go elsewhere because medicine did all they could and the condition isn't changing. I just got to say that's cold! Perhaps there's a virtue to a consumer based system Charlie's parents should be able to get second or third opinions.

So with the opinion of an American doctor - as far as this experimental treatment is over - and that means his parents have ended all appeals. And Charlie's life will end soon and it hadn't even gotten off the ground.

Finally I shared this video over at E.M. during the past month and in relation to Charlie's case. I will share it here - although it's a 10-year-old vid. An example of how a public health care system many not always work in favor of someone who absolutely needs treatment. [VIDEO]